[Runequest] Armor Question in RQ3

Pete Nash the.iqari at gmail.com
Sat Aug 1 17:38:10 EST 2009

> As to the molded cuirass of the Roman General it was Cuir Bouilli because
> it was impossible to manufacture that level of complex curves & decoration
> in a heavy metal plate at that time. They could arguably do it in very light
> metal similar to gold leaf. Even if they cast it it would be decorative only
> due to brittleness. (Coor-boo-lee)

I'd disagree with you here. The moulded cuirass was a holdover from the
armour of the early Republic, and commanders wore it out of a sense of
tradition. You can get all the curves and decoration you can imagine if it
is *cast in bronze*, like the originals.  You should also look at some of
the exquisite gladiatorial helmets of the 1st Century AD which are full of
moulded details, yet even at that time were still being made of bronze.

Of course that's not to say that wimpy commanders wore gilded leather
versions for sake of comfort, after all most officers avoided direct combat
by the Imperial period... but personally (in the context of the times) I'd
see it as a sign of weakness, undermining their Roman virtues and send
warnings to the legionaries under their command! :)

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